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Nightmare cats

(18 Posts)
dabbler Mon 24-Sep-18 16:21:27

We have two female cats – sisters – we got them form the RCPCA when they were about 3 months old about 9 years ago. They were ok for the first few years and then the fighting started - lots of hair on the landing etc but no blood or scratches. It definitely isn’t play fighting

It gradually got worse and a few years ago the spraying started. They are outdoor cats, there’s never been a litter tray and it is mostly spray – on the sofa, up the walls, on curtains, small amounts usually but one of them started weeing proper on the kitchen counters and one of them weed on my bed covers when I was in the bed! The house is now like a fortress – bedroom door bolted at night, living room blocked from entry, planks of wood on the kitchen counter etc. Using spray deterrents and special enzyme cleaners just moves them somewhere else to spray. Have tried all the Feliways to no effect. The vets have checked them over and suggested various things (separated sleeping, feeding areas) but they still fight and spray/wee.

I work at home and today I just had to lock then both out for an hour due to several fights which disturbed my peace of mind and I discovered one of then had learned to jump over the planks onto the kitchen counter.

We live in a built up urban area there are lots of (bigger) cats around and foxes, there is nothing I can do about their stress from the outside. I believe they would be a lot happier separated but I am outnumbered as both DH and DD won’t let one go, DD because she absolutely adores them (as a small child she told them all her troubles) and DH because it will upset DD. I’ve checked around for people we know to take one (so DD could visit them) but there are no takers.

Phew, that was long, got it off my chest. I really don’t think there is anything I can do but maybe there is something I am missing??

OP’s posts: |
Toddlerteaplease Mon 24-Sep-18 16:35:01

Have you tried feliway friends or pet remedy? Sounds like it might have gone beyond that though. They sound very stressed with each other. They would probably be better separated.

dabbler Mon 24-Sep-18 16:42:25

Yes both Feliways - for spraying and aggression

OP’s posts: |
dabbler Mon 24-Sep-18 16:43:20

Yes they'd be better separated but DD would be devastated

OP’s posts: |
viccat Mon 24-Sep-18 21:25:17

Have you tried adding two litter trays? Everyone should have litter trays anyway - imagine going to do your toilet business in the garden in all weathers, exposed to other cats etc. Coming up to 10 years old they are not youngsters anymore and will need litter trays even more. Have you established why they fight? i.e. is one naturally more dominant than the other; is it fighting over favourite places; or perhaps even redirected aggression if they come across other cats outside?

dabbler Tue 25-Sep-18 09:10:39

NO litter trays at the moment, something to consider tho. I think they fight for all the reasons you state and also the dominant one attacks when she gets jealous of us petting the other one. She often attacks her and takes her spot. I think she wants her gone sad

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ArtemisWeatherwax Tue 25-Sep-18 09:37:34

Years ago my DM's aggressive female cat who was the same with fighting and spraying was put on what the vet called the Pill for cats - the extra oestrogen was supposed to improve her 'nerves'. She was on it for a year or so and after that didn't even need Feliway in the house.

dabbler Tue 25-Sep-18 10:33:24

Really? The vet never mentioned this, thanks for the information Artemis, I will look into it

OP’s posts: |
ArtemisWeatherwax Tue 25-Sep-18 11:46:52

It was years ago so no idea if it is good practice but it certainly broke the cycle.

Broken11Girl Tue 25-Sep-18 11:56:50

Agree with litter trays, and getting vet advice.
Jealousy is normal. Turfing the other cat out of their spot isn't acceptable though, I would tell off the attacker, then pointedly give the one who was originally there pets. Lots of praise and pets when they're behaving nicely. That's what I'm doing with my two anyway, who really don't like each other rn.

dabbler Tue 25-Sep-18 16:09:59

HI Broken11, my impression of cats (and I've had many) is that they don't understand why you're telling them off/look at you like you are a crazy. If only they were more like dogs they might try to please me more!

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 25-Sep-18 16:14:17

We have two sisters who were fine as kittens but now one completely and utterly hates the others.
We feed and give water separately and have separate litter trays. They need litter trays. They need to be able to toilet overnight and shouldn’t be out. Separate beds. Places one or other could hide. We have two cat trees and they are able to get right away from each other.
I honestly believe if we didn’t have a 3 storey house so they could escape from each other we may have had to rehome one. If they both want to go out at the same time we often have to let one out the front and one out the back. hmm

BackToTheFuschia7 Tue 25-Sep-18 17:31:17

I was going to suggest many of the things Wolfie is already doing. Fill the house with an abundance of resources so they don’t have to compete with each other. Do 3 bowls of food, for e.g.

Also, ‘catification’ like shelves at high levels so they can get away and avoid each other.

BackToTheFuschia7 Tue 25-Sep-18 17:36:44

Great link here

Wolfiefan Tue 25-Sep-18 17:37:28

Honestly. We have one in our bedroom having been fed in the en suite and one on the back of the sofa having been fed by the front door. Tortietude. grin

Broken11Girl Thu 27-Sep-18 09:42:04

Oh, mine know when they're being told off and exactly why. They look at me with disdain and certainly don't want to please me, but they do understand grin The idea is removing attention for undesirable behaviour. Who knows, I may be deluding myself.
Two full of tortitude here too grin one is relatively new so it's been fun. I feed separately but they end up eating each others' anyway, they have separate litter trays and definitely don't share them. I agree with pp recommending litter trays, and with catification - Mademoiselle BrokenCat has commandeered the top of the wardrobe hmm while Madam BrokenCat is older and wouldn't dream of making the effort to climb up there, so I have inadvertently provided a cat tree - should get an actual one which they will ignore grin Madam has rights to the bed and defends them vociferously, they timeshare windowsills and the sofa.

IntentsAndPorpoises Thu 27-Sep-18 09:48:21

If the dominant one pushed the other off to get her spot, then push her off and refuse to pet her. Otherwise you are rewarding the behaviour.

Broken11Girl Thu 27-Sep-18 11:31:36

Exactly ^^

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